Yuma police hosts Spanish language citizen’s academy

YUMA, Ariz. –  You dial 9-1-1, or you’re at the scene of an accident… either way you’re dealing with the yuma police department. But do you know what goes on behind the scenes to help make it work? After attending an 8-week long citizen’s academy…Aly Solis has a better idea. “All the work behind a call, when one is reporting an incident or an accident, you don’t understand how many people are involved. and obviously now i’m more aware,” said Solis.

Community awareness is key to the academy.  The yuma police department hopes those attending will gain a greater understanding of their work.  Yuma Police Officer Cruz Vidal said, “It gives the attendee an inside look on the life of a police officer on a day-to-day basis.”

People will get to tour the building, learn about how 9-1-1 dispatch works,and  go on a ride-along among other activities.”So anyone that would be interested in police work or anyone that’s just interested in what law enforcement is all about especially those people that love to watch cops, cops reloaded or any law enforcement show, this is going to be a hands-on experience,” said Vidal.

With a large hispanic population, four years ago the department opened a course for spanish speakers. “Other than the language barriers hispanics tend to feel threatened by the police. but this program helps you understand that the police also seeing you as just an individual,” said Solis.

City of yuma residents get priority but all are welcome. You don’t have to be a citizen, just living legally in the state. Deadline to apply for the Yuma Police Department’s Spanish-language Citizen’s Academy is January 19.

The academy begins March 4th and ends April 22nd. The course is once a week from from 6 to 9 p.m. For questions contact Cruz Vidal at (928) 373-4760 or by e-mail at vidalc@yumaaz.gov.

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